Happy Memories

Happy Memories

We're so excited to welcome Jen McMurtrey to our 2023 design team. We can't wait to share her work with you. Before we jump into that, we want you to get to know Jen a little better. 


My name is Jen and I live in a small agricultural town in eastern Washington state with my husband Dan. We have three children Phoebe, Caleb, and Abby; and recently became empty nesters. Creating has always been a big part of my life and I can’t imagine not cutting and gluing paper, which is how I destress after a long day in the classroom. I am thrilled to be creating with Simple Stories again and cannot for the coming year!

3 Facts:

Three fun facts about myself: 1) Several years ago I left my high-stress job as the associate dean of a local college to teach high school and regret nothing. 2) I am an avid "junk enthusiast" and spend a lot of time scouring estate and yard sales with my husband and/or bestie during the summer when school is out.  3) When I am not crafting, I have my nose in a book. If I could spend more time reading I would, but I did manage to complete 36 books in 2022.

Hello Simple Stories friends! It’s Jen today sharing my first project as a member of the 2023 Simple Stories Design Team. I am so excited to be returning to Simple Stories and cannot wait to see what the coming year brings.
The new Simple Vintage Life In Bloom collection is absolutely stunning, and I have been eager to work with it. I love all the brightly colored florals and patterned papers and paired them with this sweet photo of my daughters and me taken in Central Park.
For this 12 x 12 layout, I began by selecting a Green Gingham patterned paper for the background. Next, I fussy cut the wreath from the Celebrate Life paper and machine stitched it to the background paper. Originally, I had the entire wreath centered on the page but decided I liked it better offset to the right.
One thing you will soon learn about my creative style is that I love lots of chunky layers on my projects.  In keeping with that, I used the Floral Bits with foam tape and began building the cluster of flowers to the left of the photo. Along the top and bottom of the wreath, I folded the leaves upward to again add more texture.
Because the florals and background provide so much color, I opted to print the photo in black and white. This is a great trick to make any photo work with products that may not match otherwise. After layering the photo behind a chipboard frame, I tucked it into the wreath and continued adding floral embellishments.
The title of my project was easy to create with a chipboard sticker, which I adhered along the bottom of the photo. Next, I backed two label stickers with cardstock so I could type on them with my manual typewriter. Once done, I simply cut them out and glued them to the project.
To finish the project, I added several rub-on flowers and glitter enamel dots throughout the wreath. They look so pretty!
Thank you so much for stopping by today, and I hope you have been inspired to create! The Simple Stories Simple Vintage In Bloom collection has so many beautiful elements that are perfect for any project, and I know I will be using it to document many more special memories!
Have a wonderful day!
Supplies used:
Simple Vintage Life In Bloom Collection Kit
Simple Vintage Life In Bloom Vintage Ginghams Kit
Simple Vintage Life In Bloom Floral Bits & Pieces
Simple Vintage Life In Bloom Bits & Pieces
Simple Vintage Life In Bloom 6x12 Chipboard
Simple Vintage Life In Bloom Sticker Book
Simple Vintage Life In Bloom Chipboard Frames
Simple Vintage Life In Bloom Enamel Dots
Simple Vintage Life In Bloom Rub Ons

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  • Jennifer McMurtrey: March 08, 2023

    Teresa – Thank you so much for your kind words! I would love to see your version of my layout. Please be sure to share.

  • Teresa George: February 22, 2023

    aBSOLutely stunning layout! This is a beautiful collection – i bought it all, lol. Hope you don’t mind my copying your design!

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